I don’t know about you, but one of the biggest problems associated with building a new project is coming up with an estimate for the price for raw materials. I dread doing this. I made an Excel spreadsheet a while back but I didn’t use it very often. Well recently I modified it to make it much more useful. I included more rows for boards and added a column for the description of the board (i.e. top, leg, rail, etc.).
All you need to do is enter in the board dimensions for the piece and the price for the piece will automatically fill in. My lumberyard prices get cheaper as I buy more lumber and this is automatically reflected in the price column. You will need to modify these prices for your lumberyard on the ‘Lumber_Prices’ tab.
Because we can’t always buy a 4″ wide board when we need to, you always have to account for waste. I try to estimate at least a 25% waste percentage. For example if I need 30 board feet of cherry I will most likely end up buying close to 37 board feet.
I plan on creating a spreadsheet for each new project before going to the lumberyard. This way I can file the estimate away and compare it with the actual lumber bill. My pricing estimate will most likely improve with each trip to the lumberyard.
I hope you download and find the spreadsheet useful. If you have any questions or comments please let me know.